Job hunting, interview process and anything related to the experience of a job writing the Clojure language.

A company who is looking for a Clojure programmer just dropped me from the list of candidates because I did not want to tell them my current salary. I wonder what is the standard around the world about disclosing or not this information. I personally find it very unethical. I would like to know if it is common for a hiring companies to ask that type of question, and if refusing to answer it usually mean you won’t be employed.

phoenixjj 2020-12-15T05:40:13.189700Z

Vary from company to company. Some companies ask for current CTC and Expected CTC, some just want's to go through selection process first and then make the offer. Usually companies already have salary range in which they can pay for, based on years of experience. If they asked your CTC probably they are checking if they can afford you. I am just curious about you reason for refusal to share CTC.


That’s a personal information. Where I live, people don’t disclose it. I was once on an employment where I was forbidden by contract to disclose it.

polymeris 2020-12-15T14:16:20.225500Z

That should also be illegal, IMO. Sounds very anti-labor to me if you can't disclose your salary, for e.g. a collective negotiation.

seancorfield 2020-12-15T05:42:46.192500Z

I would never disclose to a prospective employer what my current compensation is -- and I would actually be shocked by a company asking for that. It seems unethical to me.

seancorfield 2020-12-15T05:43:38.193400Z

Mostly in America you are forbidden to discuss your compensation with your peers.

chepprey 2020-12-15T13:45:17.225300Z

Socially forbidden

polymeris 2020-12-15T14:19:38.226800Z

Being told I was forbidden (not just socially, but contractually!) to disclose my salary was one of the reasons that contributed to me leaving my job at Amazon Costa Rica. Seems immensely hostile to labor if you are not allowed to discuss your salary (and negotiate collectively)

ryan echternacht 2020-12-15T14:54:55.241Z

But how will Amazon remain competitive if it can't screw workers?

phoenixjj 2020-12-15T05:48:13.195800Z

Usually "Expected CTC" is sufficient for most of the companies. Because it allows you the guess range what current CTC could be, because on job change most of the hike are between 20-50 %. However you being dropped is naive\rushed decision on their part.


The funny part is that the previous email was to tell me that they were very happy with the take home project I delivered.

phoenixjj 2020-12-15T05:55:30.198800Z

Well you are not the only candidate they interviewed, so while comparing, they may have gone with other resource, because salary data point was not available for you. Hiring is filtering process mostly.


I guess I should do the same and apply to other companies with a higher level of ethic, it goes both ways after all. The problem is that it costs time to write those take home projects and it costs nothing to those companies to assign them to people.

danielglauser 2020-12-16T00:51:50.271100Z

As a hiring manager it's helpful to go over a candidate's code with them, but this is why we don't ask people to do take home projects. We ask candidates to bring something they've worked on and can legally share with our team, then review the code with them. It can be new development, it can be something they've worked on previously. I feel this strikes the balance between going over code with folks and asking people to work for free.

phoenixjj 2020-12-15T06:12:34.203200Z

Ethic is complicated topic. don't go into rabbit hole. It is very hard to judge from outside. Just continue apply for whatever job profile/companies you like.

seancorfield 2020-12-15T06:12:39.203400Z

I wish more candidates would reject badly-behaved companies...

seancorfield 2020-12-15T06:13:10.204100Z

I've walked out of several interviews over the years because of poor behavior by (potential) employers.

seancorfield 2020-12-15T06:13:49.204600Z

Unfortunately, many companies are now following FAANG processes which are terrible 😞

phoenixjj 2020-12-15T06:18:09.205300Z

leetcode/take home projects when all they have is simple CRUD apps. 😏

seancorfield 2020-12-15T06:26:36.206300Z

I hate the interview process most companies have. It's why I don't do "technical tests" when I interview people.

seancorfield 2020-12-15T06:26:59.206700Z

(my interview mind map is pinned in this channel)

phoenixjj 2020-12-15T06:37:37.209400Z

For junior position 0-2/3 yr exp they are okay to gauge, if candidate knows the basics. But for senior position they are overkill. I would die on spot if somebody asked me to invert or optimise the binary tree if some body asked me that, after programming in Java for 10 years. 🤪

seancorfield 2020-12-15T06:42:41.211100Z

I've been programming professionally for close to 40 years. I've been a senior software architect for 20 years. Any company that tries to interview me by challenging my experience is going to get very short shrift...

seancorfield 2020-12-15T06:44:37.213100Z

...and that applies to a lot more junior developers too. Talk to people. Listen to how they talk about their work, what motivates them, what excites them (and what doesn't). You don't need "technical tests" to figure out whether people are "good developers". You need to figure out whether you can train people to work in your environment.

seancorfield 2020-12-15T06:45:51.213700Z

I've never hired anyone that I've had to subsequently fire, so I think my process works.

Faris 2020-12-15T07:45:21.213900Z

Forbidden as in its illegal?

synthomat 2020-12-15T11:02:33.217400Z

how about telling them current salary + 20%? I’ve overheard something that in the US they can verify this information with the current employer. so lying about it won’t be so great. Is this actually true?

Faris 2020-12-15T11:07:01.218100Z

I once applied for a job where they asked for pay slips, needless to say I ran the other way as fast as I could.

gklijs 2020-12-15T12:20:29.221Z

I'm not sure that is allowed, seems a bit scary to me. Offcourse you could prove it yourself. But 20% seems massive, unless you were underpaid before.

synthomat 2020-12-15T12:33:06.221300Z

Can also be less of course. But lying about salary will give you more chance to negotiate something higher (if that’s your motivation for a new job). I’m really curious why (and where) it could be not allowed?

synthomat 2020-12-15T12:34:29.221500Z

(haven’t tried it myself, though)


In new york state at least it's now straight up illegal to ask for your current salary


In the context of a company interviewing someone. They can only ask for expected

mpenet 2020-12-15T13:23:51.223600Z

it's very common, I almost always got asked that

mpenet 2020-12-15T13:23:59.223800Z

(in europe)

chepprey 2020-12-15T13:45:17.225300Z

Socially forbidden

polymeris 2020-12-15T14:16:20.225500Z

That should also be illegal, IMO. Sounds very anti-labor to me if you can't disclose your salary, for e.g. a collective negotiation.

gklijs 2020-12-15T14:18:02.225700Z

Seems confidential, to get access to someone else's paycheck. I never lied about it, but it's true they often you with whatever you made + something more. It has to be believable through to be able to sell it.

gklijs 2020-12-15T14:19:14.226700Z

Yes, it's often one of the first questions a recruiters asks.

polymeris 2020-12-15T14:19:38.226800Z

Being told I was forbidden (not just socially, but contractually!) to disclose my salary was one of the reasons that contributed to me leaving my job at Amazon Costa Rica. Seems immensely hostile to labor if you are not allowed to discuss your salary (and negotiate collectively)

dharrigan 2020-12-15T14:22:46.227700Z

I don't answer that question. I simply say it's far too early in the process to talk about my expecations, for I need to know more about the company I'm going to interview for, need to meet the people etc..,

dharrigan 2020-12-15T14:23:09.228200Z

Once they know your current salary, they - the recruiters - know the minimum they can get away with.

mpenet 2020-12-15T14:24:35.229900Z

You can just answer with what you expect (without lying)

mpenet 2020-12-15T14:25:49.232300Z

It's a good way to abort early too (for you), if they can't meet your expectations

dharrigan 2020-12-15T14:27:56.234600Z

The problem with that scenario is you're going in blind - at a disadvantage. You don't know what the client's budget is. For example, if the client says they have a budget of 100K for a candidate (just keeping figures simple) and you're currently on 90K. And you say, when the recruiter asks how much are you expecting - and being a person who wants some more dosh, you say 95K. You've immediately lost out on the potential of 100K without realising it.

dharrigan 2020-12-15T14:28:16.234800Z

You've shown your hand to quickly

dharrigan 2020-12-15T14:29:38.235900Z

You need time to research the company, perhaps discover some answers to current salaries at the new place of work (hopefully!), get more facts and information before you start negotiating on salary expections.

dharrigan 2020-12-15T14:32:24.238100Z

Generally, imho (and from lots of experience working with lots of recruiters over the years - both as a candidate and someone who is looking for people, thus engaging with recuiters to find people), recruiters do not have the candidate's best interests at heart. They are only concerned about the client and satisfying their needs (and thus forming good relationships, and providing for more placements in the future). Yes, I've met a very small handful of exceptions to that, but in general it is the client they want to keep happy, not the candidate.

mpenet 2020-12-15T14:38:23.239700Z

sure, that can work, but they can also bail like it happened here. I guess "it depends" applies as usual

dharrigan 2020-12-15T14:39:03.240100Z

the ubiquitous YMMV? :)

mpenet 2020-12-15T14:39:14.240300Z

doing the homework first is the key I guess

mpenet 2020-12-15T14:39:43.240800Z

I mean getting info, not the take at home thing 🙂

ryan echternacht 2020-12-15T14:54:55.241Z

But how will Amazon remain competitive if it can't screw workers?

victorb 2020-12-15T15:11:07.242800Z

So many folks have weird feelings about discussing salaries, had some frustrating moments regarding that when working for a US company (I live in Europe) where it's not illegal to discuss, but the companies always try to hush people when talking salaries. Best system I've seen so far is Sweden, where all the salaries are public and accessible for all. No need to sneak around or feel bad about discussing your salary, as the data is public anyways

dharrigan 2020-12-15T15:11:29.243200Z

Agreed, it's a very emotive subject.

dharrigan 2020-12-15T15:12:10.244600Z

I'm in the UK and it's exceptionally rare to find companies who have an open salary policy. It's very much hush hush.

enforser 2020-12-15T15:13:11.245700Z

I used to work at a large tech company in the states, and there was a document created by some higher up engineers where people could anonymously enter their position, salary, as well as some information about themselves (age, race, years of experience, etc). This doc ended up being pretty good leverage for some people to ask for a bump in pay, as they were previously much lower than their peers. Not sure how I’d feel about this being tied to individuals

enforser 2020-12-15T15:13:45.246200Z

It also would have been incredibly useful if this information was available for new hires negotiating their starting salary

synthomat 2020-12-15T15:16:33.247Z

ah sorry I misunderstood. you were talking about companies fetching salary information from prior employer

victorb 2020-12-15T15:17:36.248200Z

yeah, Glassdoor was about to become something that could serve that point, making salaries more transparent but seems they went the other way and locked up all the data behind different walls and also allowed companies to change the data themselves. Bit sad to see, could have been really nice for workers

dharrigan 2020-12-15T15:18:41.249Z

Perhaps the world needs something new like that...a global online salary spreadsheet 🙂

mpenet 2020-12-15T15:23:52.249400Z

salaries are not public in sweden, taxable income is

mpenet 2020-12-15T15:23:55.249600Z


mpenet 2020-12-15T15:24:28.250200Z

so if you have income for multiple source that would make it seem you have a higher salary than the reality

mpenet 2020-12-15T15:25:16.251100Z

also when you are a contractor it's even more blurry, as most people set themself a low'ish salary to avoid paying too much taxes and take as much as possible as dividends regularly

mpenet 2020-12-15T15:25:52.252Z

(it's another subject altogether)

victorb 2020-12-15T15:25:54.252100Z

@mpenet yeah, true, it's not the salary that's public but the tax return, which includes all income sources (legal and taxed at least)

synthomat 2020-12-15T15:59:42.252600Z

what does “public” mean specifically?


I highly value privacy and very much do not want my income to be public knowledge. It’s nobody else’s business what financial arrangements I make with other parties.

mpenet 2020-12-15T18:11:46.255600Z

The tax authorities will happily tell you what anyone has in taxable income if you ask

mpenet 2020-12-15T18:13:15.255800Z

Unions also very often gather data on all registered workers and you can just order a registry with it, then compare your taxable income with your boss/coworkers.

synthomat 2020-12-15T22:51:48.266600Z

woah, thanks for explanation!